Hong Kong Proposes Expanded Paid Maternity Leave

Connecticut Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Proposals to expand Hong Kong’s statutory paid maternity leave and clarify time-off work for pregnant employees to attend medical examinations feature in the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019, published on 27 Dec 2019.  

Highlights of the proposals include:

  • Statutory maternity leave would be expanded from 10 to 14 weeks. Eligibility requirements remain the same — employees must have been continuously employed by the same employer for four weeks or more and work for a minimum of 18 hours per week.
  • The additional four weeks of leave would be paid at the same rate as the ten weeks — 80% of the employee’s average daily wages, but the additional weeks are capped at HK$36,822. Employers would pay employees and seek reimbursement from the government. The labor department aims to have the reimbursement scheme operational by the end of 2021. 
  • Clarification that pregnant employees would be entitled to receive a sickness allowance when they attend pregnancy-related medical examinations, if they provide an appropriate certificate of attendance.
  • The miscarriage definition would be changed to shorten the pregnancy period to 24 weeks — down from 28 weeks. As a result, women suffering a miscarriage after 24 weeks would be entitled to maternity leave instead of sick leave.

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Fiona Webster
by Fiona Webster

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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